BOYS BASKETBALL: Permian bounces back after 20-point loss with victory over Midland Lee

Any frustrations the Permian boys basketball team had after its 20-point loss to Amarillo Tascosa on Friday were vented during Tuesday’s contest with Midland Lee.

The Panthers held a double-digit advantage at halftime and they continued to pour on the points during the final two quarters.

Permian’s defense also limited Midland Lee to six points in the second half — which included one in the fourth quarter — en route to a 64-23 District 2-6A victory at the Permian Fieldhouse.

“We have to try to work on mental toughness,” Permian head coach Tim Thomas said. “We’ve got the physical part down. We have to get the mental part and be who we are no matter who we play and no matter where we play.

“I don’t care (what opponent) comes through the door, we have to be us. That’s the most disappointing thing going to Tascosa. They were who they are and we weren’t who we are.”

After the first quarter, the Panthers (16-10 overall, 3-1 District 2-6A) held a 15-10 advantage, but Midland Lee took the lead twice on a pair of free throws from James Lydia to open the contest, 2-0. Sema’J Davis and Juwon Packer gave the Rebels (8-17, 1-3) their biggest lead, 10-6, after they hit back-to-back 3-pointers.

Midland Lee head coach Justin Boswell said the team started well, but couldn’t continue that play during the second, third or fourth quarters.

“In the first quarter, we looked like we were hitting on all cylinders,” he said. “We created some easy scoring opportunities. We made some plays early. (Permian’s) defensive pressure really gave us problems.”

The Panthers didn’t trail for long as they scored the final nine points of the first quarter and first seven points of the second quarter. Permian grabbed its first double-digit lead, 22-10, when Justin Hammond sank a 3-pointer with 3 minutes, 16 seconds left in the second quarter.

Midland Lee came within single digits once throughout the rest of the contest when Davis hit a pair of free throws, 22-14. The Panthers scored eight of the final 11 points before halftime.

“We played a really good team game,” said Permian guard Luis Gonzales, who supplied 10 of game-high 12 points in the first half. “We came back from that loss against Tascosa, but we need to play more consistent.”

The Panthers continued to limit Midland Lee in the second half as the Rebels had a total of two field goals and four free-throw attempts — two of which were made.

Permian didn’t have those same offensive woes. The Panthers scored 34 points in the second half and at the 2:55 mark of the fourth quarter all of Permian’s starters were off the floor. All 10 Permian players that stepped on the court scored at least one field goal. Anthony Thomas supplied 11 points, while Elijah White had eight and Ozzy Terrazas chipped in seven.

Davis scored a team-high eight points for the Rebels and Packer posted six.

The Panthers continued their season hosting Midland High at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“We want to defend our home turf,” Coach Thomas said. “We have to really focus and zero in on defending our home turf. The couple years I’ve been here we’ve done a really good job of defending our home turf.”

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